Peter is Professor of Organization & Management at Emory University and was the founding Academic Director of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta. He also serves as Academic Director of Specialty Coffee Programs for Goizueta's Business & Society Institute.
His research interests relate to how the behavior and performance of organizations evolve over time. Currently, he directs his interests in entrepreneurship and organizational performance toward topics in the field of social enterprise. His current projects focus on social entrepreneurs and accelerators, on microbusiness development, and on the global specialty coffee industry.
For the past several years, he has been cultivating several programs which focus on making markets work for more people, in more places, in more ways. This led to the establishment of the global Entrepreneurship Database Program, the Start:ME accelerator program, and the Transparent Trade Coffee and Grounds for Empowerment programs.
Peter's PhD is from the University of Alberta. Before taking up his current position at Emory University, Peter served on the faculties of Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Australian Graduate School of Management.
PhD in Organizational AnalysisUniversity of Alberta
MA in EconomicsUniversity of Alberta
BA in EconomicsQueen's University
Are We Accelerating Equity Investment Into Impact-Oriented Ventures
To assess the effect of acceleration on outside equity investment, we analyze application and follow-up data from a matched sample of 1647 entrepreneurs who applied to 77 impact-oriented accelerators. Our main finding is promising. In the first follow-up year, accelerator program participants attract significantly more outside equity than their rejected counterparts. Further analysis suggests that this positive equity bump is not due to cherry picking obviously promising ventures during selection processes. Moreover, the effect is tied to the number of accelerated months in the follow-up year. Despite these promising observations, we find that the equity investment effect does not extend to ventures working in emerging markets, or to those with women on their founding teams. Thus, the benefits of accelerators for entrepreneurship-led development are not yet reaching the places and people that have the hardest time attracting capital on their own.
The Changing Effectiveness of Local Civic Action: The Critical Nexus of Community and Organization
We examine changes in the effectiveness of local civic action in relation to changes over time in racial diversity and income inequality. Local civic action comprises situations in which community members come together—typically with support from local organizations—to address common issues. The collective orientation of local civic action makes it sensitive to changes in local social conditions. As these changes unfold, local organizations become differentially able to support civic action. Here, our core argument features the process through which community members associate with different local organizations and how mandated versus voluntary association results in distinct responses to increased social and economic heterogeneity. We test this argument using three decades of data describing local campaigns of the annual Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program. A baseline model shows that within-county increases in racial diversity and income inequality are associated with diminished campaign effectiveness. Subsequent models that separate out campaigns organized by schools, churches, and clubs show that schools are relatively more effective mobilizers as racial diversity and income inequality increase, arguably due to the greater demographic matching that is induced by mandated school participation.
A Comparative Analysis of Corporate and Independent Foundations
Notwithstanding some visible debates, systematic evidence about the implications of greater corporate involvement in the social sector is sparse. We provide some of this evidence by examining one channel of corporate influence within the nonprofit sector–company sponsorship of philanthropic foundations. Our analysis shows that corporate foundations raise more funds and distribute grants with lower overhead than similar independent (i.e., non-corporate) foundations. However, their grantmaking is also more dispersed and less relational, and they tend to be governed by more ephemeral groups of officers and trustees. These findings suggest that corporate foundations benefit from having access to the resources of the companies that sponsor them but are constrained by their additional market-based motivations. The findings also update and refine what nonprofits might expect from corporate foundations relative to their more traditional independent counterparts.
The Profit Orientation of Microfinance Institutions and Effective Interest Rates
With the rise in the number of for-profit microfinance institutions (MFIs), commentators are asking whether the sector benefits by MFIs having stronger profit orientations. We address this question by analyzing the relationship between interest rates and adopting the for-profit legal form, appointing private sector representation and traditional banking experience to advisory boards, and participating in more extensive for-profit networks. The results consistently indicate that a stronger for-profit orientation corresponds with higher interest rates for MFI clients. However, this does not contribute to greater profitability and therefore sustainability because the stronger profit orientation is also associated with higher MFI costs.
Corporate reputation and sustained superior financial performance
Good corporate reputations are critical because of their potential for value creation, but also because their intangible character makes replication by competing firms considerably more difficult. Existing empirical research confirms that there is a positive relationship between reputation and financial performance. This paper complements these findings by showing that firms with relatively good reputations are better able to sustain superior profit outcomes over time. In particular, we undertake an analysis of the relationship between corporate reputation and the dynamics of financial performance using two complementary dynamic models. We also decompose overall reputation into a component that is predicted by previous financial performance, and that which is ‘left over’, and find that each (orthogonal) element supports the persistence of above-average profits over time.
Friendships among Competitors in the Sydney Hotel Industry
Friendships with competitors can improve the performance of organizations through the mechanisms of enhanced collaboration, mitigated competition, and better information exchange. Moreover, these benefits are best achieved when competing managers are embedded in a cohesive network of friendships (i.e., one with many friendships among competitors), since cohesion facilitates the verification of information culled from the network, eliminates the structural holes faced by customers, and facilitates the normative control of competitors. The first part of this analysis examines the performance implications of the friendship‐network structure within the Sydney hotel industry, with performance being the yield (i.e., revenue per available room) of a given hotel. This shows that friendships with competitors lead to dramatic improvements in hotel yields. Performance is further improved if a manager’s competitors are themselves friends, evidencing the benefit of cohesive friendship networks. The second part of the analysis examines the structure of friendship ties among hotel managers and shows that friendships are more likely between managers who are competitors.